Project supervisors

The supervisors of the VPH-CaSE project either provided guidance for the Early Stage Researchers in their Individual Research Projects (IRP) or helped the supervisory board as Work Package Leaders (WPL).

Dr Andrew Narracott (IRP1)

Institution: The University of Sheffield


Andrew obtained an undergraduate Physics Degree in 1997 and a PhD in Medical Physics in 2002, both from the University of Sheffield. The focus of his PhD was the interaction between balloon catheters and coronary stents during stent deployment using both experimental and numerical techniques.

Since 2001, he has worked on projects which have addressed a range of biomechanical applications. These include European funded projects (Bloodsim, ARCH, VPH-NoE and MeDDiCA) which have investigated FSI techniques for cardiovascular problems, numerical simulation to support dialysis treatment, VPH community building and the numerical and experimental investigation of in-stent restenosis.

Other research projects have included a study of deep vein thrombosis treatment funded by the EPSRC and a six month period in Tokyo, Japan funded by the RIKEN institute to develop models of blood clotting in cerebral aneurysms.

He currently teaches first and third year undergraduate courses in the application of numerical methods to clinical engineering problems and is the Director of Operations for the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine.

Dr John Fenner (IRP2 and IRP12)

Institution: The University of Sheffield


John is a Medical Physicist by profession and is registered with the Health Professions Council in the UK. His career began in 1984 with the Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering in Glasgow, eventually leading to appointment as Senior Physicist, providing scientific support to the Department of Cardiac Surgery in Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

John joined the University of Sheffield in 1996 and has been involved with a breadth of Medical Physics research related to radiation, simulation and validation.

He has been a major technical contributor to numerous EU projects and now helps to coordinate VPH-CaSE from Sheffield.

His research interests have led to publications in medical radiation physics, aspects of diagnostic imaging and the VPH. He also has a range of teaching roles in medical physics at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Dr Marcel Rutten (IRP3 and IRP4)

Institution: Technical University of Eindhoven


Marcel was born in St-Hubert (Netherlands) in 1963. He received his MSc degree in mechanical engineering from the Eindhoven University (Netherlands) in 1993. He received his PhD on fluid structure interaction in large arteries in 1998.

Since then, he has been a Lecturer in cardiovascular mechanics in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University.

Dr Vanessa Díaz (IRP5 and IRP6)

Institution: University College London


Vanessa obtained her degree in Mechanical Engineering from University Simon Bolivar (Venezuela), where she was awarded her MEng degree with First Class Honours.

She finished her PhD in Automatic Control and Industrial Informatics, that she obtained with “Les Felicitations du Jury”, from Ecole Centrale de Lille, France in 2003. Her PhD work focused in lumped parameter models, simulation and optimisation of cardiac dynamics.

She was a Marie Curie Fellow (Intra-European Fellowship) from 2005 to 2007 in the Academic Unit of Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield.

Vanessa was the scientific Coordinator of the “Virtual Physiological Human NoE” as well as the Principal Investigator of the EC funded (FP7) Marie Curie Initial Training Network “MeDDiCA” and the project “DISCIPULUS”.

She currently holds an EPSRC grant (Personalised Medicine Through Learning in the Model Space) and a new Marie Curie ITN (VPH CaSE).

Vanessa has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship for 2015-2017 to work on the exploration of structural uncertainties in multiscale models using simulation. Vanessa has been at UCL since September 2007.

Professor Francesco Migliavacca (IRP7)

Institution: Politecnico di Milano


Francesco obtained a MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1992 and a PhD in Bioengineering in 1997 both from Politecnico di Milano.

In 2000, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Cardiothoracic Unit of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London in 1994 and 1997-99.

In 2000 and 2001 he was consultant and Research Scientist at the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

At present he is a Full Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering ‘Giulio Natta’ of Politecnico di Milano.

Since September 2007 he has been the Director of the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LaBS) of the Politecnico di Milano. His major research activities have included the fluid dynamic optimisation of pediatric cardiac surgery procedures, fluid dynamics in the living systems as well as structural analysis and material behaviour of biomedical devices, in particular intravascular stents.

He is involved in funded researches from the European Commission, the Foundation Leducq and public and private Italian National programs.

He received the medal ‘Le Scienze 2001’ in Engineering and was awarded the European Society of Biomechanics Perren Award in 2004. He is Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journals ‘Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology’ and ‘Frontiers in Pediatric Cardiology’.

Professor Giancarlo Pennati (IRP8)

Institution: Politecnico di Milano


Giancarlo was born in Milan in 1964. He received his masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1989 and his PhD in Bioengineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1995.

He was a research fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering between 1990-1992 and has been a research fellow at the Department of Bioengineering of Politecnico di Milano since 1991.

Between 1994-1999, he collaborated with the “Bioengineering Center for Innovation in Cardiac Surgery” at the San Raffaele Hospital.

He was Supply Professor of “Biomechanical Design” at the Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano from 2000. He was Assistant professor at the Department of Bioengineering from 1 July 2002.

Since 1 January 2006, he has been at the Department of Structural Engineering of Politecnico di Milano. In 2007, he was appointed Associate Professor in Industrial Bioengineering.

His research activity is in the area of the mechanical modelling and testing of natural and engineered tissues, and biomaterials, the biomechanics of the cardiovascular system (in particular, the foetal and neonatal blood circulations) and the design of artificial organs and prostheses.

Other topics he is interested in concern the optimisation of some surgical techniques as well as the diagnostic use of ultrasound techniques.

He is a member of European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) and is the author of more than 180 scientific works, of which about 60 in peer-reviewed international journals.

Professor Hervé Liebgott (IRP9)

Institution: Université de Lyon 1


Hervé was born in 1979 in France. He received his masters degree in electrical engineering and masters degree in acoustics from the Lyon National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA Lyon) in 2002, and his PhD degree in 2005.

In 2011, he received the French Habilitation to lead research (HDR) from the University Lyon 1.

He is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University Institute of Technology Lyon 1 (IUT Lyon 1, GEII). He is doing his research at CREATIS, where he is currently the vice leader of the ultrasound imaging team.

Since October 2014, he has also been a junior member of the French Institut Universitaire de France. His research focuses on image and signal processing applied to medical ultrasound imaging. He is particularly interested in image formation techniques and motion estimation.

Since 2014, Hervé Liebgott has been an associate member of the IEEE Bioimaging and Signal Processing (BISP) technical committee and member of the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium technical program committee.

Professor Patrick Clarysse (IRP10)

Institution: Creatis, Université de Lyon 1


Patrick received an MSc degree in 1987 and a PhD in 1991 from the Scientific and Technological University of Lille, France. Since 1992, he has been with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at CREATIS, Lyon, France.

His primary research interests are in the bioengineering and medical image analysis fields, and include medical image processing workflows, multidimensional/multimodal image segmentation and registration, motion estimation and deformable models with applications to the 3D analysis of the heart functions and the motion of thoracic structures.

Dr Cemil Goksu (IRP11)

Institution: Therenva


Cemil studied for a Masters degree in Image Processing at INSA Lyon – Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in 2001. He then did a PhD in Signal Processing and Telecom at the Université de Rennes in 2005.

He was employed as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Rennes 1. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Therenva.

His speciality is medical imaging and virtual reality solutions for Computer Assisted Surgery.

Professor Rod Hose (IRP11)

Institution: The University of Sheffield


After graduating in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, he joined Lucas Aerospace as a graduate apprentice engineer.

From 1977 to 1992 he worked as a stress engineer and as a consultant structural analyst for several companies in the aerospace, motor vehicle and general engineering sectors. During this period Rod also completed his PhD in Applied Mechanics at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Rod joined academia in 1992 as a lecturer in Aircraft Structures at the University of Salford. He moved to Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield in 1994, where he was initially responsible for the development of undergraduate teaching in medical physics and had a primary research interest in the computational analysis of heart valve prostheses.

Rod is currently Professor of Computational Biomechanics in the Medical Physics Group in the Department of Cardiovascular Science.

Mr Adrian Walker (IRP12)

Institution: Leeds Test Objects


Adrian is the Managing Director of Leeds Test Objects Ltd, a British SME which develops and manufactures image quality phantoms for medical imaging modalities such as x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine.

Adrian has BSc (hons) in Chemistry and an MSc in Medical Physics. His current interests are in the development of tissue equivalent materials and anthropomorphic phantoms.

Adrian has been involved as an industry partner in an FP7 funded project SEDENTEXCT, and a Marie-Curie network VPH-Case.

Dr Michel Rochette (IRP13)

Institution: ANSYS


Michel graduated from the University of Nice in 1990 where he obtained a PhD degree in mathematics. He founded CADOE (a maths company for 3D parametric simulation in 1994).

After the acquisition by ANSYS, he has been leading the research for two main topics:

  • Patient specific simulation

  • Reduced Order Modelling

His research team has two senior research engineers and five PhD students mainly focused on patient specific simulation.

As the leader of the ANSYS medical initiative he manages partnership with academic Labs, University Hospitals, Medical software vendors, medical devices companies and medical imaging companies.

He is in charge of the development and validation of medical vertical applications developed with partners.

Professor Gabriele Dubini (IRP13)

Institution: Politecnico di Milano


Gabriele received his MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1988 and his PhD in Bioengineering in 1993 from Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.

In 1993 and 1994, he worked as a Research Assistant in the Cardiothoracic Unit of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.

Back to Politecnico di Milano, he was appointed a Lecturer of Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer in 1996, an Associate Professor and a Professor of Bioengineering in 2001 and 2007, respectively.

He currently is the Coordinator of the Section of Biological Engineering of the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering ‘Giulio Natta’, Politecnico di Milano.

Between 2003 to 2007 he was the Director of the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LaBS) of Politecnico di Milano. From July 2008 to July 2012 he was a member of the Council of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) and the Secretary-General for the 2010-12 biennium.

His major research activities have included the microcirculation, the virtual planning of paediatric cardiac surgery procedures, the design and characterisation of endovascular devices and microfluidic devices for biomedical applications.

Dr Marco Stijnen (IRP14)

Institution: University of Eindhoven


Marco was born in Geleen (Netherlands). He received his PhD in 2004 in biomechanical engineering from the Eindhoven University (Netherlands). His thesis focused on the interaction between local fluid flow and closing mechanics of mechanical heart valve prostheses, under physiologically relevant loading conditions in mock-loop systems.

After, he gained years of experience in a variety of cardio vascular research projects during his work at Hemolab as project manager. Subsequently, Marco became group manager of cardiovascular R&D and progressed to director of R&D at LifeTec Group.

Professor Bas de Mol (IRP14)

Institution: University of Eindhoven


Bas was born in 1952 and received his doctorate of both laws (Rotterdam, 1988) and medicine (Amsterdam, 1991). He received his PhD in medicine with a focus on spinal cord injury and surgery of thoraco-abdominal aneurysms.

He is chairman and head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at the AMC and Professor at the University of Amsterdam (Cardiothoracic Surgery) and Eindhoven University (Biomedical Engineering).

His current focus is on general cardio surgery particular in valve surgery, aortic surgery, heart failure, assist devices, technology development and security.

As a lawyer, he is a legal consultant and frequent speaker on specific issues relating regulations of medical devices, personal injury in healthcare and development of biomedical technology.

Professor Denis Friboulet (WPL)

Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique


Denis is a full professor at INSA Lyon and a member of CREATIS (CNRS UMR 5220 – INSERM U1044).

His research interests include signal processing (statistical and sparse modelling) and image processing (segmentation, motion estimation) with echocardiographic imaging as the main application.

He is in charge of the team “images and models” at CREATIS (ten researchers and six PhD) and has co-authored more than 35 international journal publications and 95 conferences papers.

He is in the selection committee of a number of IEEE conferences (International Ultrasonic Symposium, International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging, Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology, International Conference on Image Processing).

He has participated in a number of national and EU funded research programmes, and has an extensive experience as PhD supervisor and examiner.

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